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City of license Rotterdam, New York
Broadcast area Capital District and Mohawk Valley
Branding Oldies 98.3
Slogan The Capital District's Holiday Music Station
Frequency 98.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
98.3-2 MHz 80s Hits (HD Radio)
First air date 1987 (as WNYJ)
Format Oldies (currently Christmas Music)
ERP 6,000 watts
HAAT 97 meters
Class A
Facility ID 8563
Callsign meaning TRoY (former call sign of 980 AM, now WOFX, which is licensed to Troy)
Former callsigns WDNZ (1986, not on-air)
WERV (1986-87, not on-air)
WNYJ (1987-89)
WSHZ (1989-92)
WTRY-FM (1992-94)
WYSR (1994-96)
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
Sister stations WGY, WGY-FM, WRVE, WPYX, WKKF, WOFX
Webcast Listen Live

WTRY-FM (98.3 FM, "Oldies 98.3"), is an oldies station licensed to Rotterdam, New York and serving New York's Capital District and Mohawk Valley. The station is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc., and broadcasts at 6 kilowatts ERP from a tower in between Altamont and Duanesburg, New York off U.S. Route 20.

Though the 98.3 frequency has only been on the air since 1987 and has offered either an oldies or a classic hits format since 1996, the format was a direct continuation of the oldies format (and the top 40 format from which it evolved) which was previously on 980 kHz, a streak that went back over 40 years. During November and December, the station switches to Christmas music, with the normal oldies format remaining on its HD2 channel.


Pre-launch and early formats

The first decade of the frequency's life was quite unstable, a testament of this can be seen even before the air. In its construction permit stage, 98.3 was to become WDNZ with an early dance/rhythmic contemporary format, however permit owner Dennis Jackson (now a noted community broadcaster in smaller communities throughout the Northeast) was forced to sell the station before it hit the air. Under new owners, another set of call letters (WERV) came and went before the frequency signed on as adult contemporary WNYJ in November 1987. Being a new frequency, completely satellite-fed, and going up against a surging WKLI-FM, the format was changed in late 1988 to oldies as Cruisin' 98.3, still WNYJ.

98.3/103.5 SHO-FM

In mid 1989, WNYJ was sold and became adult contemporary WSHZ SHO-FM, adding a simulcast on WACS-FM in Cobleskill (which became WSHQ). WSHZ/WSHQ's adult contemporary format was not successful, and in late September 1990, the format was flipped back to oldies, still as SHO-FM (though it was known as Super Hit Oldies SHO-FM in 1990). A few days later, WGY-FM flipped to oldies as well, causing major problems for both WSHZ/WSHQ and WTRY.

First WTRY simulcast/Star 98.3

Looking for a boost, then-WTRY owner Liberty Broadcasting entered into a local marketing agreement with WSHZ in late 1991 and flipped 98.3 to a simulcast of 980. This arrangement proved successful, outlasting WGY-FM which flipped to a hot adult contemporary format (as WRVE) in 1994, though by the end of that year the simulcast ended with 98.3 flipping to a 1970s music format, as WYSR Star 98.3. (After 98.3 dropped the Star branding in 1996, the name was reused by WQAR from 1998 to 2013 under a different format.)

Second WTRY simulcast and move to FM

In August 1996, WYSR became an outright sister to WTRY when SFX Broadcasting (which bought Liberty earlier that year) bought WYSR from Jarad Broadcasting. Three months later, the simulcast was restored but with a couple wrinkles: 980 would be simulcasting 98.3 rather than vice versa, and 98.3 broadcast its own morning show while 980 aired the syndicated Imus in the Morning. After Clear Channel purchased AMFM in 2000, the simulcast ended in September of that year, when 980 flipped to sports radio as WOFX.

Format evolution

WTRY-FM's logo as My Music 98.3

Up to 1999, WTRY's oldies format largely featured music from 1964 to 1969 with several pre-1964 oldies an hour and about one early 70s hit an hour cutting off at about 1973 with a few exceptions. During the course of 1999, songs up to the late 1970s were mixed in and 70s music was being played several times an hour cutting a couple 1964 to 1969 songs per hour. In 2001, a few 1980s hits were being mixed into the format being played about once per hour. Later that year pre-1964 oldies began to be cut back to two an hour and by 2002 one per hour. In 2003, the word oldies began to be used less and the station was now focusing on the 1964 to 1975 time period. In 2004, WTRY was now playing about half 1964-1969 songs and about half 1970s songs with an 80s song mixed in and pre-64 oldies almost completely gone. By 2005, the station had evolved into more of a classic hits format. Beginning in 2001, WTRY began playing Christmas music around Thanksgiving until some time on December 26 on a wall to wall basis. As time went on this annual tradition began earlier in November.

On December 26, 2007, after its annual temporary Christmas format ended, WTRY surprised its listeners with a switch officially to classic hits, mainly playing songs from the '70s, and '80s with some '60's songs mixed in, under the My Music slogan. After playing Christmas music from November 1, 2010, the station reverted to oldies of the 60s and 70s as of December 27, 2010, in a similar style to sister stations KJR-FM (Seattle) and KLTH (Portland, Oregon). In early February 2011, WTRY continued to evolve towards a more traditional type of oldies format, while facing competition from WPTR, which had just flipped to oldies from contemporary Christian. In November 2011, WPTR became Christian talk station WDCD-FM, leaving WTRY and rimshot WVKZ as the only oldies radio stations in the Capital Region (WVKZ has since become sports radio station WPTR). On February 27, 2012 WTRY rebranded as "Oldies 98.3".

HD radio operations

In 2005, WTRY-FM upgraded to IBOC digital radio alongside the rest of Clear Channel's Albany stations. On August 17, 2006, WTRY-FM began airing an HD2 channel with a smooth jazz format, which flipped to Cool Oldies with 50s and 60s hits in 2007 with the jazz format moving to WRVE-HD2. As of 2011, with the main format reverting from classic hits to oldies, WTRY-FM's HD2 signal now airs an all-80s format.

External links

  • Query the FCC's FM station database for WTRY
  • Radio-Locator information on WTRY
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WTRY

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